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#2457833 - 12/21/12 07:32 PM Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb"
Ramiro Offline
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I was doing a little research on this song and learned that the first solo of the song is done in a different key than the second solo. The first guitar solo is in the key of D major, and the long outro solo is in the key of B minor.

how can this be? did the song change keys somewhere in there and if so at which point did this change? please tell me the first part of the song was in D major and the second part in B minor because if not, it may be too much for my puny brain to comprehend how the chords can be in one key and the solo in another. this sort of stuff gives me splinters in the windmill of my mind.

someone please straighten me out.

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#2457840 - 12/21/12 08:29 PM Re: Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" [Re: Ramiro]
Scott Fraser Offline
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D maj & B min are the same.
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#2457847 - 12/21/12 09:36 PM Re: Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" [Re: Scott Fraser]
A String Administrator Offline
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Yup, same notes in the scales. Try playing a D major scale over a D major chord. Then, have the chord change to B Min and continue with the same scale. You'll notice you have to start and end on different notes, but you will still be playing the same scale...essentially.
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#2457850 - 12/21/12 10:22 PM Re: Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" [Re: A String]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Yeah- Bm is the "Relative minor" of D (D Major). They use the same notes in their scales and keys, with the same step-wise pattern from note to note, but start and end on different points in the sequence as the given tonic or root.

D scale/key = D E F# G A B C# D

Bm scale/key = B C# D E F# G A B

In "Comfortably Numb", this subtle key change has a powerful effect- a shift is perceived, even though the pitch-register and chords remain very similar, while the change from Major to minor key brings a darker, heavier, more brooding feeling with it.


Similarly, C and Am are relative Major and minor to one another, respectively. Since there are no sharps (#) or flats (b) in the key of C- or the key of Am, for that matter- being comprised completely of "natural" notes, they make a particularly convenient example to study and compare here.

C scale/key = C D E F G A B C

Am scale/key = A B C D E F G A

Notice a pattern here- a Major key and its Relative minor are a 6th apart- that is, count from a given Major key up six scale-steps and you'll arrive at its Relative minor key.

Conversely, count three scale-steps up from a given minor key and you arrive at its Relative Major key.
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#2457896 - 12/22/12 10:14 AM Re: Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Winston Psmith Offline
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A good thing to have is one of those wheels that shows all the Major & minor keys, and their relationships. I've also seen posters with the Circle of Fifths, and a layout of the guitar neck, with all the notes mapped out, which is very helpful.
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#2457898 - 12/22/12 10:25 AM Re: Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
whitefang Offline
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The first solo is played in the key of the root chord pattern of the song's chorus. The second, "outro" solo starts in the song's main chord pattern. If you catch my drift.

And I'm not sure if you could call it a "chorus". Play it by itself, and it seems to be a song on it's own. The first thing I noticed when I first heard this song is that it seems to be a pairing of two seperate musical ideas. Which is really nothing new, but so seldomly used in this genre of music that it's use seems particularily brilliant. And essentially it IS. Of all the songs I've heard by Pink Floyd, this is one of the few that I REALLY like.
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#2457913 - 12/22/12 12:21 PM Re: Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" [Re: whitefang]
Larryz Offline
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Lots of different ways to approach a song. You've already taken the first step by picking out a song you want to play. So maybe you should work backwards. Learn the solo 1st and then go back and learn/apply the theory later. There are lots of lessons for this song on Youtube which will save you a lot of time. Many times it's not the key that is changing but you are free to play in the relative minor or relative major scales as the notes are common to each relative major/minor key. This concept doesn't work so well with chords. If the band is playing in a major key you probably will not be flatting the 3rd and if they are playing in a minor key, you will be flatting the 3rd. When breaking down a song, it is wise to see if it is being played in a major or minor key and chart out the chords. Some songs do modulate and the Verse may be in the minor key, the chorus in the relative major key, and then back to the Verse in the minor key. Most songs however pick one or the other for the most part.

So, if you show up and play die-hard cowboy country major leads in a jazz/blues band, you won't go over so well and if you get too jazzy or bluesy for the country boys you won't go over so well there either. You want to fit in and play in the vibe or genre as much as possible. A good rule of thumb is to use major scales and pentatonics for clean R&R and clean die-hard country that stick to majors and use minor scales and petatonics for Jazz/Blues songs that use a lot of 9ths, 7ths, 6ths, sharp 9ths, etc. chords...sometimes they can both be used in the same song depending on the song and sometimes neither of them seem to fit and thus you might use a sliding scale instead...

Have fun with it and don't be afraid to experiment...


Edited by Larryz (12/22/12 05:21 PM)
Edit Reason: add jazz/blues

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#2457940 - 12/22/12 05:10 PM Re: Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" [Re: Larryz]
Ramiro Offline
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Registered: 12/03/12
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Thanks, guys! that's very helpful information. I never knew about this relative business. I'm learning a lot of this info piecemeal. I've tried to have the circle of 5ths explained to me but there are, again, splinters in the windmill of my mind. it was too hard for me to take that all in. hopefully some day I'll get it. When I do, an entire new world will open up for me.

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#2457952 - 12/22/12 08:17 PM Re: Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" [Re: Ramiro]
desertbluesman Offline
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Ramiro it don't hurt to take some lessons if you can find a teacher that plays like you want to eventually play. I had three different teachers, one of them very famous, and the things they taught me in just a few lessons opened up worlds of tonal flavors to me that I never ever imagined.
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#2458451 - 12/26/12 03:16 PM Re: Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" [Re: desertbluesman]
Ramiro Offline
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I have but it always devolves into the instructor showing me licks instead of laying the road map down for me so I can understand better what it is that I'm doing.

this is what I understand, in a nutshell:

there are 12 keys. I don't get where the minor keys come in but apparently there are 12 keys. each key has I believe 7 chords in it corresponding to each note in the major scale.

I know there's a major scale and a pentatonic minor (used in Rock and Blues) and pentatonic major (used for country).

that's mainly what I know. I don't know if each key has a particular characteristic exclusive to it.

I really wish I could understand music better because I really believe if I did, I'd be pretty damn good at it but lessons cost and really all I need to know is more of the science behind it. I could probably learn a lot of that in a span of a few days by just picking someone's brain.

I was taking lessons earlier in the year and it always ended up being "let me show you this lick" or "let me show you this turnaround." ok, that's cool, but I still don't understand what the hell it is that's going on.

i think what I ought to do is start learning some songs and asking "what's going on in this song" here on this forum. there are a lot of knowledgeable people on this here board.

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#2458459 - 12/26/12 03:58 PM Re: Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" [Re: Ramiro]
A String Administrator Offline
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Have you read through our Theory Thread?

http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads..._Tr#Post1582022
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#2458476 - 12/26/12 05:28 PM Re: Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" [Re: Ramiro]
Bartholomew Offline
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Knowing the related chords from that circle will probably be one of the most important things ever.

Certainly was for me when I was learning.
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#2459494 - 12/31/12 04:56 PM Re: Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" [Re: Bartholomew]
pinkjimiphoton Offline
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your "relative minor" will always be 4 frets lower than your "major" when playing pentatonic based guitar scales in particular.

yes, 12 keys.. (or one, really, a chromatic scale wink don't go there)

there are 7 primary chords in each key. however, there are myriad chords in each key. on guitar, you really only need to know a few things to be able to play anything you want in any key at all.

i would suggest learning modes, if you want to unlock the patterns that re-occur all over the neck.

a mode is simple...

you have 7 notes in each scale. you can start a scale on any of the degrees of that key, as long as you maintain the same step structure of half and whole steps.

ie:

a b c# d e f# g# a (major scale)

b c# d e f# g# a b

c# d e f# g# a b c#

d e f# g# a b c# d

e f# g# a b c# d e

f# g# a b c# d e f# (the relative minor to a, f#minor)

g# a b c# d e f# g#

then it repeats. its the same scale, but every single one sounds different.

to start with, i'd learn major and minor barre chords of the "e" "a" "c" and "g" shape, and pentatonic major and minor scales.

you can move these to any key. i rarely give lessons anymore,
but all of my students i've taught the same stuff to...and usually have them wailing in one lesson, once they see where the dots connect, i'm no longer needed.

hope this didn't muddy the waters more. wink

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#2459801 - 01/02/13 09:14 AM Re: Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" [Re: pinkjimiphoton]
henrysb3 Offline
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#2459804 - 01/02/13 09:19 AM Re: Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" [Re: henrysb3]
henrysb3 Offline
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Oh, and Ramiro, some ear training is really helpful. If you have access to a keyboard, close your eyes and hit a key, then try to guess which note it is. It's also good to listen to music from a "what key was that" perspective. It's pretty easy to recognize some guitar chords from their voicing. D and G are two of the easiest. I often have trouble quickly recognizing the key of A major, but not minor.
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#2459822 - 01/02/13 09:46 AM Re: Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" [Re: henrysb3]
Scott Fraser Offline
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Originally Posted By: henrysb3


And taking it a whole lot further, in a completely opposite direction:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=Ar30KyQFnIc
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#2459826 - 01/02/13 10:01 AM Re: Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" [Re: henrysb3]
p90jr Offline
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Originally Posted By: henrysb3
Oh, and Ramiro, some ear training is really helpful. If you have access to a keyboard, close your eyes and hit a key, then try to guess which note it is. It's also good to listen to music from a "what key was that" perspective. It's pretty easy to recognize some guitar chords from their voicing. D and G are two of the easiest. I often have trouble quickly recognizing the key of A major, but not minor.


There are some great smart phone apps for ear training.

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#2459828 - 01/02/13 10:07 AM Re: Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" [Re: p90jr]
henrysb3 Offline
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Great idea. I've thought of teaching off and on for some time now. A lotta people take guitar lessons or piano lessons, but what they really need is music lessons. The instrument is the tool, the music is the product.
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#2460251 - 01/04/13 07:37 AM Re: Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" [Re: henrysb3]
pinkjimiphoton Offline
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re the op...

scuze the wankage:



this is my "toneblaster" pedal in action. i got contracted to cover for this band's ailing lead guitarist. was fun...a rocknroll band fronted by twin sister witches. wink

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#2460303 - 01/04/13 10:54 AM Re: Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" [Re: henrysb3]
Larryz Offline
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Originally Posted By: henrysb3


I love bluegrass remakes of tunes...sometimes you have to pay heed for a little while before you can even pickup where the lyrics are coming from...

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#2460339 - 01/04/13 01:27 PM Re: Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" [Re: Larryz]
Bottom End Offline
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#2460357 - 01/04/13 03:09 PM Re: Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" [Re: Bottom End]
5 string Mike Offline
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Quote:
...it always devolves into the instructor showing me licks instead of laying the road map down...


That's because he's probably used to students going "don't bore me with that theory stuff, just show me the lick....

Quote:
I first heard this song is that it seems to be a pairing of two seperate musical ideas.


It kind of is...

If I remember right from the days I was a big Floyd nut, I read/saw where Waters and Gilmour went a few rounds (as they tended to do back then) over how the song was going to come together. Gilmour brought in the basic chorus part of the song as a demo he made while working on his '78 solo album. Waters liked it but wanted to change the key, and went round and round and finally left it in the D major key but the verses were done with the Bm and a different chord progression to fit what Waters wanted to do.

I think that's how it went down.... now will have to dig it up. Aside of details, I'm pretty sure it actually came together as two 'separate' ideas blended into one song.
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#2460385 - 01/04/13 04:28 PM Re: Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" [Re: Bottom End]
Terrell Offline
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Originally Posted By: Bottom End


LMA OFF

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#2460399 - 01/04/13 05:17 PM Re: Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" [Re: Larryz]
henrysb3 Offline
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They did the entire "Wall" on an album called "Rebuild the Wall". Many great tracks.


Rebuild the Wall


Edited by henrysb3 (01/04/13 05:18 PM)
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#2460402 - 01/04/13 05:57 PM Re: Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" [Re: henrysb3]
Larryz Offline
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Originally Posted By: henrysb3
They did the entire "Wall" on an album called "Rebuild the Wall". Many great tracks.


Rebuild the Wall


Cool clips on Youtube too... cool

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#2461382 - 01/08/13 08:55 PM Re: Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" [Re: Larryz]
Ramiro Offline
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Henry hit it on the head. I need to learn music theory. I'm killing myself like a monkey learning how to emulate what a musician does on the instrument but I'm not getting the nuts and bolts of it but that's gonna change. some how some way that will change.

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#2461522 - 01/09/13 09:41 AM Re: Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" [Re: Ramiro]
Larryz Offline
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Don't Worry, Be Happy...If you pick out 5 or 6 tunes you like playing and want to learn, in 5 or 6 different keys like E, A, G, C and maybe throw in A minor and F# minor and have fun with them. Then every day, every other day, once a week, once a month or every other month (whatever you decide) take time to study some theory. Apply that theory to your 5 or six tunes. This way you won't worry so much and make learning fun at the same time.

Break down your tunes into lyrics, chords, keys, leads, arrangements, etc., and record the tunes or buy the records. Play back with them for practice sessions. Learn some Pentatonic scales and noodle around with new leads when they come up on the recordings...then break down the intervals that you are hearing in the leads and chords, then learn the tab and/or sheet music if desired. You will be applying theory all along and having fun while getting these songs down tight. You can skip any of these steps and make up your own method of attack. Theory is a big subject that will last you a lifetime and the relationship from one song to another will be a big help IMHO.


Edited by Larryz (01/09/13 09:42 AM)
Edit Reason: sp

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